The fantasy playoffs have begun. The early slate of games gave us a mix of blowouts and failed fourth-quarter comeback attempts. Running back storylines ruled the day: Several RBs were missing due to injury or Covid-19, others returned from various ailments and Derrick Henry helped many fantasy managers advance in the playoffs.
As always, this collection of fantasy reactions will include snap counts for skill players on each team, along with notes on players who saw their fantasy stocks rise or fall during the action — and how we should react to anything new.
|Dallas Cowboys||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Michael Gallup – 48 snaps||Tee Higgins – 65 snaps|
|Amari Cooper – 42 snaps||A.J. Green – 63 snaps|
|CeeDee Lamb – 26 snaps||Tyler Boyd – 59 snaps|
|Noah Brown – 8 snaps||Alex Erickson – 8 snaps|
|Cedrick Wilson – 7 snaps||Mike Thomas – 6 snaps|
|Stanley Morgan Jr. – 3 snaps|
|Dalton Schultz – 49 snaps||Drew Sample – 64 snaps|
|Blake Bell – 15 snaps||Cethan Carter – 18 snaps|
|Sean McKeon – 9 snaps||Mason Schreck – 2 snaps|
|Ezekiel Elliott – 32 snaps||Samaje Perine – 28 snaps|
|Tony Pollard – 19 snaps||Trayveon Williams – 27 snaps|
|Giovani Bernard – 17 snaps|
|Total – 51 snaps||Total – 72 snaps|
Green put up the best numbers of anyone in this game with six catches on seven targets for 62 yards and a touchdown. The veteran has certainly put up better numbers in the past, but this was a big step forward from the goose eggs he’s put up in three of the last four games. None of the Cowboys put up great numbers, with a lot of their offensive success coming off of turnovers.
Bernard has been the lead back for the Bengals since Joe Mixon left Week 6 with a foot injury. Bernard fumbled on the second offensive play of the game and was benched for the rest of the first half. It was only his third fumble over the last four seasons. Trayveon Williams and Samaje Perine split opportunities during Bernard’s absence. Williams gained 49 yards on 12 carries, while Perine gained 32 on 10 carries. Bernard took all of the third-quarter snaps, while Perine led the way in the fourth quarter. This is a three-back committee to avoid the rest of the season.
Pollard ended up with a better fantasy performance than starter Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys had a double-digit lead in the second half when the two running backs nearly split playing time. Elliott gained 48 yards on 12 carries, while Pollard gained 39 yards on 11. The big difference came in the pass game, where Pollard caught both of his targets including a touchdown. Elliott dropped one of his three targets. Pollard remains an intriguing option if he can ever see half of either the Cowboys’ or another team’s offensive snaps.
|Tennessee Titans||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Corey Davis – 42 snaps||D.J. Chark Jr. – 64 snaps|
|A.J. Brown – 37 snaps||Keelan Cole – 61 snaps|
|Cameron Batson – 21 snaps||Laviska Shenault Jr. – 53 snaps|
|Nick Westbrook – 19 snaps||Collin Johnson – 19 snaps|
|Kalif Raymond – 16 snaps|
|Jonnu Smith – 41 snaps||Tyler Eifert – 45 snaps|
|MyCole Pruitt – 34 snaps||James O'Shaughnessy – 27 snaps|
|Geoff Swaim – 32 snaps||Eric Saubert – 9 snaps|
|Anthony Firkser – 16 snaps|
|Derrick Henry – 42 snaps||James Robinson – 40 snaps|
|Jeremy McNichols – 22 snaps||Dare Ogunbowale – 22 snaps|
|Devine Ozigbo – 6 snaps|
|Total – 66 snaps||Total – 71 snaps|
Henry dominated with 215 rushing yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns. The Titans handed the ball to Henry more than they threw the ball. In the pass game, Henry added two catches for seven yards. Henry only took one snap in the fourth quarter, as the game was out of reach at that point. This is the easiest game on the schedule for Henry in the fantasy playoffs, so he could be the highest-scoring running back this week and each of the next two. Henry was fighting for a rushing title, but the goal might shift to a 2,000-yard season. He needs to average 156 rushing yards per game in order to get there.
Robinson wasn’t as involved in the offense as he usually is. He has averaged 21.2 carries per game since Week 7 but was given just 12 carries today. He gained 67 yards on those attempts, with 47 of them coming on one run. He averaged less than two yards per carry over the other 11. He also lost opportunities in the pass game. He was the clear third-down back the last three weeks but today ended up with 35.7% of the third-down snaps. Backup Devine Ozigbo put up bigger numbers in the pass game with 30 yards on four catches compared to 16 yards on four catches from Robinson. Robinson was questionable coming into this game with a knee injury, which likely impacted his usage. It’s possible the Jaguars limit Robinson the rest of the season to reduce risk of further injury.
Smith missed last week’s game with a knee injury, but he was ready to go this week. The Titans gave him his usual role of playing most first and second downs. Smith gained 20 yards on two catches. Geoff Swaim ended up with the best numbers from Tennessee’s tight end room with three catches for 34 yards and a touchdown. Swaim remains primarily a run-blocking tight end. Smith should see more opportunities than Swaim in games where the Titans aren’t blowing someone out.
|Kansas City Chiefs||Miami Dolphins|
|Tyreek Hill – 57 snaps||Lynn Bowden Jr. – 59 snaps|
|Sammy Watkins – 54 snaps||Mack Hollins – 40 snaps|
|Demarcus Robinson – 33 snaps||Malcolm Perry – 33 snaps|
|Mecole Hardman – 19 snaps||Jakeem Grant – 31 snaps|
|Marcus Kemp – 4 snaps||DeVante Parker – 27 snaps|
|Antonio Callaway – 22 snaps|
|Travis Kelce – 56 snaps||Mike Gesicki – 43 snaps|
|Nick Keizer – 12 snaps||Adam Shaheen – 37 snaps|
|Deon Yelder – 8 snaps||Durham Smythe – 36 snaps|
|Clyde Edwards-Helaire – 46 snaps||Patrick Laird – 42 snaps|
|Le'Veon Bell – 11 snaps||DeAndre Washington – 39 snaps|
|Darrel Williams – 5 snaps|
|Total – 62 snaps||Total – 83 snaps|
Hill didn’t see many opportunities in this game, but he made a lot of plays when given the chance. He caught three passes for 79 yards and a touchdown and added a 32-yard carry for a second touchdown. Travis Kelce gets an honorable mention with 136 receiving yards on eight catches and the Chiefs’ third touchdown of the day. These two players were a primary reason Kansas City extended its winning streak.
Myles Gaskin ended up on the Covid-19 list yesterday, leaving the Dolphins thin at running back. Matt Breida is also on the Covid-19 list, while Salvon Ahmed is dealing with a shoulder injury that has left him out of multiple games. Washington was the next man up. He’s typically considered a passing-down back, but the Dolphins used him as an early-down back. Patrick Laird handled the third-down snaps as well as 42% of the early-down work. Washington was limited to 35 rushing yards on 13 carries. Laird didn’t fare much better with 19 yards on four carries. Neither back was involved much in the pass game. This situation should be avoided if none of the other backs are available next week.
Both wide receivers left the game around halftime with leg injuries and didn’t return. Parker didn’t catch a pass before exiting the game, while Grant caught three passes for 32 yards. The Dolphins were already thin at wide receiver before this pair of injuries. In the second half, Mack Hollins and Malcolm Perry were the primary outside receivers. Rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. manned the slot receiver role throughout the game. He put up the biggest numbers with 82 yards on seven catches on nine targets. Hollins was also a favorite receiver with five catches for 66 yards on nine targets. Hollins would likely be the waiver wire target depending on the severity of the injuries.
The Dolphins playing without their top three running backs and top three wide receivers wasn’t bad enough. Gesicki left the game with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. Gesicki put together his second two-touchdown game of his career before leaving. He caught five total passes for 65 yards. Adam Shaheen would be the Dolphins’ primary receiving tight end if Gesicki ends up missing time. Shaheen would be worth a waiver wire pickup in this case. Part of Gesicki’s problem is that he only plays in clear passing situations, while Shaheen would play every down. The Dolphins’ injuries at wide receiver mean Shaheen would probably see a high target share.
|Houston Texans||Chicago Bears|
|Steven Mitchell Jr. – 61 snaps||Darnell Mooney – 45 snaps|
|Chad Hansen – 53 snaps||Allen Robinson II – 45 snaps|
|Keke Coutee – 49 snaps||Anthony Miller – 33 snaps|
|Isaiah Coulter – 6 snaps||Javon Wims – 25 snaps|
|Riley Ridley – 2 snaps|
|Darren Fells – 40 snaps||Cole Kmet – 51 snaps|
|Jordan Akins – 36 snaps||Jimmy Graham – 29 snaps|
|Kahale Warring – 15 snaps||J.P. Holtz – 5 snaps|
|Demetrius Harris – 3 snaps|
|Duke Johnson Jr. – 30 snaps||David Montgomery – 40 snaps|
|Buddy Howell – 23 snaps||Cordarrelle Patterson – 19 snaps|
|C.J. Prosise – 13 snaps||Ryan Nall – 3 snaps|
|Total – 66 snaps||Total – 60 snaps|
The Bears dominated with four touchdowns on their first six drives. Robinson put up the best numbers of the group with nine catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. This was his first 100-yard performance since Week 4 and his third of the season. David Montgomery is deserving of an honorable mention with 113 rushing yards on 11 carries and a touchdown, along with 42 receiving yards on three catches. Most of Montgomery’s production came on an 80-yard run to start the game, plus some work in garbage time.
David Johnson landed on the Covid-19 list earlier in the week. David already missed most of November, so the Texans had gotten used to playing without him. Duke returned to the starting lineup with C.J. Prosise as his backup. The Texans shifted strategy for the second half, with Johnson and Buddy Howell splitting third-quarter snaps. Howell ended up playing 85% of the fourth-quarter snaps as well.
Howell played the best in the run game with 42 yards on 11 carries. Johnson ended up with the second-most receiving yards for the Texans on the day with 53 yards on two catches. The Texans are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Howell could see an extended role over these last three games even if David Johnson is ready to return next week.
The Texans recently inserted Keke Coutee as the slot receiver and Chad Hansen as one of the outside receivers after various injuries and Will Fuller’s suspension. Brandin Cooks was the latest of the Texans wide receiver woes. He ended up on the inactive list due to both a foot and neck injury. Mitchell replaced Cooks as the other outside receiver. Hansen was the favorite target for the Texans — he caught all seven passes thrown his way for 56 yards. Coutee was thrown at only three times but scored the Texans’ only touchdown. Coutee should see more targets in future matchups that are more favorable to him.
|Arizona Cardinals||New York Giants|
|Christian Kirk – 66 snaps||Darius Slayton – 47 snaps|
|DeAndre Hopkins – 63 snaps||Sterling Shepard – 39 snaps|
|Larry Fitzgerald – 56 snaps||Golden Tate – 28 snaps|
|KeeSean Johnson – 19 snaps||Austin Mack – 4 snaps|
|Trent Sherfield – 5 snaps||C.J. Board – 1 snap|
|Maxx Williams – 51 snaps||Evan Engram – 42 snaps|
|Seth DeValve – 27 snaps||Kaden Smith – 23 snaps|
|Dan Arnold – 24 snaps||Levine Toilolo – 10 snaps|
|Kenyan Drake – 44 snaps||Wayne Gallman – 27 snaps|
|Chase Edmonds – 40 snaps||Dion Lewis – 16 snaps|
|Alfred Morris – 6 snaps|
|Total – 79 snaps||Total – 49 snaps|
The Cardinals offense was inconsistent throughout the game. Throwing to Hopkins was the one place they continually found success. Hopkins gained 136 receiving yards on 11 targets and nine catches. Hopkins didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday and was limited in practice on Friday with neck and back issues. Hopkins performing this well despite the injuries makes his performance even more impressive. The rest of the Cardinals combined for 108 receiving yards.
Jones returned to action after missing last week with a hamstring injury. He was underwhelming, going 11-for-21 for 127 passing yards. The Cardinals dominated time of possession as the Giants offense failed to put anything together. Eight drives ended in punts, three in fumbles and only one in a score. Golden Tate led the way for the Giants’ receivers in terms of yards thanks to a 39-yard catch. The schedule gets a little better for the New York passing game, so there is still hope for Jones and the Giants receivers over the rest of the season.
Arnold caught two of four passes thrown his way for 27 yards and the game’s only receiving touchdown. This was his fourth receiving touchdown in the last four games. He tied his season high in targets for the season at four. It’s hard to make him a waiver wire target knowing the Cardinals have never given him many opportunities in the pass game. Given the touchdowns he’s scored, it’s possible they make Arnold a bigger part of the offense in 2021.
|Minnesota Vikings||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Adam Thielen – 71 snaps||Chris Godwin – 44 snaps|
|Justin Jefferson – 68 snaps||Mike Evans -39 snaps|
|Chad Beebe – 34 snaps||Antonio Brown – 25 snaps|
|Olabisi Johnson – 19 snaps||Scotty Miller – 5 snaps|
|Tajae Sharpe – 5 snaps||Tyler Johnson – 3 snaps|
|Justin Watson – 3 snaps|
|Tyler Conklin – 45 snaps||Rob Gronkowski – 39 snaps|
|Irv Smith Jr. – 28 snaps||Cameron Brate – 24 snaps|
|Antony Auclair – 14 snaps|
|Dalvin Cook – 54 snaps||Ronald Jones – 34 snaps|
|Ameer Abdullah – 15 snaps||LeSean McCoy – 16 snaps|
|Mike Boone – 4 snaps||Ke'Shawn Vaughn – 4 snaps|
|Total – 79 snaps||Total – 51 snaps|
The Vikings offense looked just as good as the Buccaneers with Cook leading the way. Cook gained 102 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown. This was his seventh 100-yard rushing game in his last 10 games. Cooks’ success on the ground led to seven of the eight Vikings offensive drives lasting for seven or more plays. Their only problem is that three of the drives ended with a missed field goal, while another ended up a fumble. It’s worth noting that Cook played this well despite how good the Buccaneers run defense is. Cook faces two more strong run defenses during the fantasy playoffs.
Fournette was healthy for this game, but the Buccaneers made him inactive. This was a big boost for Ronald Jones, who played in over 75% of the first- and second-down snaps. He played 52.5% of early-down snaps in the last four games. This allowed Jones to score a touchdown and gain 80 yards on 18 carries. LeSean McCoy took Fournette’s place as the third-down back. McCoy had a nice 32 yards on four carries. Rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn earned his first offensive snaps since Week 6. Fournette can be dropped, while Jones has the potential to win some leagues with more games like today.
Kyle Rudolph ended a streak of 93-straight starts due to a foot injury. Smith has missed a few games recently and was limited in practice during the week. This was an opportunity for Smith to be the main tight end for the Vikings, but he didn’t end up seeing a boost in playing time. Minnesota opted for a sixth offensive linemen, a fullback and Tyler Conklin as the fourth and fifth skill players on the field to go along with their fantasy superstars early in the game. Once the Vikings fell behind, Smith started to get involved in the pass game. Smith led the way for Minnesota with 63 yards on four catches and a touchdown. Ten of the 11 skill players to see an offensive snap also received a target for the Vikings. Smith remains an intriguing dynasty option, as he should receive more playing time if Rudolph is gone next season.
|Denver Broncos||Carolina Panthers|
|Tim Patrick – 48 snaps||Robby Anderson – 57 snaps|
|Jerry Jeudy – 45 snaps||Curtis Samuel – 53 snaps|
|K.J. Hamler – 36 snaps||Pharoh Cooper – 39 snaps|
|DaeSean Hamilton – 14 snaps||Brandon Zylstra – 27 snaps|
|Diontae Spencer – 2 snaps||Marken Michel – 3 snaps|
|Nick Vannett – 45 snaps||Ian Thomas – 46 snaps|
|Troy Fumagalli – 39 snaps||Chris Manhertz – 30 snaps|
|Noah Fant – 5 snaps||Colin Thompson – 9 snaps|
|Melvin Gordon III – 30 snaps||Mike Davis – 49 snaps|
|Phillip Lindsay – 29 snaps||Rodney Smith – 16 snaps|
|Royce Freeman – 4 snaps||Trenton Cannon – 2 snaps|
|Total – 61 snaps||Total – 67 snaps|
Davis had the most yards and tied for the most touchdowns in this game, running 11 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns. Davis was consistently running well — no single run greatly impacted his total. He added five catches for 42 yards in the pass game. He needs to remain in starting lineups as long as Christian McCaffrey is out. Broncos wide receiver K.J. Hamler gave Davis a run for his money in the winner spot, as he caught two passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Hamler is a sell-high in dynasty leagues because his playing time will likely decrease next year with Courtland Sutton returning.
The Panthers had several players placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list earlier in the week. Most players returned to the active roster, but D.J. Moore did not. Zylstra has been the Panthers’ fourth wide receiver on the depth chart over the second half of the season, and he took Moore’s role to begin the game. He caught one pass on two targets for three yards. In the second half, Pharoh Cooper took over as the second outside receiver. Cooper put together a better performance with 52 receiving yards on three catches. Cooper could be a waiver wire target in deeper leagues if Moore misses another game.
Fant developed an illness this morning, according to Vic Fangio. He tried to play despite the illness but only lasted five snaps before exiting for the rest of the game. Fant’s exit opened the door for Troy Fumagalli to have his best game in the NFL. He came into the day with 50 career receiving yards and doubled that with 53 yards on four catches. Nick Vannett also put up respectable numbers with 20 yards on four catches and a touchdown. The two tight ends pretty much split playing time, including both pass routes and run blocks. They can probably be avoided if this impacts Fant throughout the week.
|Indianapolis Colts||Las Vegas Raiders|
|Michael Pittman Jr. – 55 snaps||Nelson Agholor – 45 snaps|
|T.Y. Hilton – 41 snaps||Henry Ruggs III – 41 snaps|
|Zach Pascal – 41 snaps||Hunter Renfrow – 38 snaps|
|Ashton Dulin – 11 snaps||Bryan Edwards – 20 snaps|
|Marcus Johnson – 8 snaps||Zay Jones – 16 snaps|
|Jack Doyle – 42 snaps||Darren Waller – 66 snaps|
|Trey Burton – 25 snaps||Jason Witten – 20 snaps|
|Mo Alie-Cox – 20 snaps||Foster Moreau – 13 snaps|
|Jonathan Taylor – 34 snaps||Josh Jacobs – 29 snaps|
|Nyheim Hines – 22 snaps||Jalen Richard – 21 snaps|
|Jordan Wilkins – 6 snaps||Devontae Booker – 19 snaps|
|Total – 61 snaps||Total – 68 snaps|
Taylor put together the best game of his young career with 150 rushing yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. This was his first 100-yard game since Week 2 and his first game with multiple touchdowns. He added 15 yards on two receptions in the pass game. Nyheim Hines looked good as the clear backup for the Colts with 58 rushing yards on seven carries, along with four receptions. T.Y. Hilton deserves plenty of recognition for the Colts victory as well with two touchdowns and 86 yards. Indianapolis plays the Texans next week, and their star skill players should again put up big numbers.
Jacobs returned to the Raiders after a one-game absence. For the first three quarters, Jacbos returned to his usual role of playing early downs the vast majority of the time. He didn’t play on third downs, as usual, and in the fourth quarter the Raiders took Jacobs out and gave all the early downs to both Devontae Booker and Jalen Richard. Jacobs gained 49 yards on 13 carries. The most promising part of Jacobs performance was his work in the pass game. His five targets were the most in a game for him since Week 1. He caught three for 25 yards. Jacobs should remain in his usual role in a favorable matchup against the Chargers on Thursday Night.
The Colts tight end situation has been evolving throughout the season. Alie-Cox has shown promise and has dynasty value as the young tight end. He was barely involved in the offense today with one catch for nine yards. Half of Alie-Cox’s playing time came in the fourth quarter, primarily as a run blocker. Jack Doyle was the most impressive tight end of the day with 44 yards on three catches. It’s good that Trey Burton is an unrestricted free agent heading into 2021, but Doyle playing ahead of Alie-Cox in passing situations is a problem.
|New York Jets||Seattle Seahawks|
|Breshad Perriman – 53 snaps||Tyler Lockett – 47 snaps|
|Jamison Crowder – 38 snaps||D.K. Metcalf – 46 snaps|
|Jeff Smith – 33 snaps||David Moore – 39 snaps|
|Braxton Berrios – 11 snaps||Freddie Swain – 33 snaps|
|Jaleel Scott – 9 snaps||Penny Hart – 27 snaps|
|Chris Herndon – 34 snaps||Jacob Hollister – 37 snaps|
|Ryan Griffin – 22 snaps||Will Dissly – 36 snaps|
|Trevon Wesco – 12 snaps||Colby Parkinson – 19 snaps|
|Daniel Brown – 4 snaps|
|Ty Johnson – 20 snaps||Chris Carson – 33 snaps|
|Frank Gore – 17 snaps||Carlos Hyde – 30 snaps|
|Josh Adams – 12 snaps||DeeJay Dallas – 9 snaps|
|Total – 53 snaps||Total – 73 snaps|
The Seahawks put together as dominant a team performance as you could hope for in the NFL. Five different players scored touchdowns, and the Seahawks were able to start putting backups in during the third quarter. Metcalf put up the best numbers among the Seahawks skill players with six catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. Ideally, Metcalf and the other star players would have put up bigger numbers, but it wasn’t necessary for a Seahawks victory.
Gore missed most of last week with injury, allowing both Ty Johnson and Josh Adams to have breakout games. Gore was ready to play again this week but didn’t return to his usual role. The three backs split early-down work, while Johnson played on third downs. Each back saw six to eight carries for 16 to 27 yards. None of the RBs reached double-digit receiving yards. If the Jets had one clear lead back, he could be a fantasy asset down the stretch. This needs to be avoided as a three-person rotation.
The Jets didn’t have Denzel Mims at wide receiver today due to a family matter. Smith took over as the second outside wide receiver and had one 14-yard catch off of two targets. The Seahawks gave up historical numbers to wide receivers early in the season but have played much better down the stretch. The Jets gained 132 yards total in the pass game, with no receiver gaining more than 50 yards.
|Green Bay Packers||Detroit Lions|
|Davante Adams – 62 snaps||Marvin Jones Jr. – 59 snaps|
|Marquez Valdes-Scantling – 47 snaps||Mohamed Sanu – 40 snaps|
|Allen Lazard – 46 snaps||Danny Amendola – 34 snaps|
|Equanimeous St. Brown -17 snaps||Quintez Cephus – 33 snaps|
|Tavon Austin – 4 snaps||Jamal Agnew – 11 snaps|
|Juwann Winfree – 1 snap|
|Robert Tonyan – 41 snaps||T.J. Hockenson – 56 snaps|
|Marcedes Lewis – 38 snaps||Jesse James – 26 snaps|
|Dominique Dafney – 12 snaps||Hunter Bryant – 4 snaps|
|Aaron Jones – 47 snaps||D'Andre Swift – 36 snaps|
|Jamaal Williams – 20 snaps||Adrian Peterson – 16 snaps|
|Kerryon Johnson – 14 snaps|
|Total – 67 snaps||Total – 67 snaps|
Adams was the clear standout of this game with 115 receiving yards on seven catches and a touchdown. This was his eighth consecutive game with at least one receiving touchdown, making him the most dependable fantasy wide receiver this season. This was also his second consecutive 100-yard performance — marking his first back-to-back 100-yard games of the season. The next two matchups are also very favorable.
Swift last played in Week 10 — the week when he received his first start. In that game, he ran 16 times for 81 yards and caught five psases for 68 yards and a touchdown. Swift didn’t start this one, but he at least returned to seeing the most playing time among the Detroit backs. He gained 24 yards on seven carries with a touchdown. The other two backs for the Lions ran the ball six times. Swift was also more involved in the pass game with five targets compared to two by the other Lions backs. Swift ideally would have taken more advantage of this favorable matchup, but at least he saw a good amount of playing time.
Stafford left the game in the fourth quarter with a rib injury. He was playing well considering he didn’t have his top wide receiver, finishing the day 24-for-34 with 244 passing yards and a touchdown. Backup Chase Daniel came in and led the Lions to a field goal on their last drive. If Stafford misses any time, this would be a downgrade for all of the Lions receivers and probably more touches for Swift.
|New Orleans Saints||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Michael Thomas – 57 snaps||Greg Ward – 51 snaps|
|Tre'Quan Smith – 54 snaps||Jalen Reagor – 47 snaps|
|Emmanuel Sanders -53 snaps||Alshon Jeffery – 31 snaps|
|Juwan Johnson – 5 snaps||Quez Watkins – 22 snaps|
|Tommylee Lewis – 1 snap||Travis Fulgham – 11 snaps|
|Jared Cook – 36 snaps||Dallas Goedert – 59 snaps|
|Josh Hill – 18 snaps||Zach Ertz – 50 snaps|
|Adam Trautman – 15 snaps||Richard Rodgers – 1 snap|
|Alvin Kamara – 45 snaps||Miles Sanders – 56 snaps|
|Latavius Murray – 20 snaps||Boston Scott – 15 snaps|
|Corey Clement – 2 snaps|
|Total – 63 snaps||Total – 69 snaps|
Sanders put together a few disappointing performances recently and hadn’t scored a touchdown in over two months prior to Week 14. He bounced back in a big way with 115 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns. The majority of his production came from an 82-yard run near the end of the first half. Sanders saw five targets in the pass game, leading to four catches for 21 yards. He also played in a higher percentage of snaps compared to recent weeks. The Eagles’ schedule over the next two weeks is much kinder toward Sanders, so he can be trusted in starting lineups.
Murray had been more involved with the Saints offense in recent weeks corresponding to Taysom Hill joining the starting lineup, but he was barely involved in the offense for a second straight week. Murray gained 13 yards on four carries. Alvin Kamara out-played him in the run game with 50 yards on 11 carries, and Kamara scored the Saints’ only rushing touchdown. Kamara was significantly involved in the pass game for the first time with Hill at quarterback. He led the team in targets with 10, bringing in seven for 44 yards. It’s not that Kamara looks like the same-old Kamara, but we’re back to leaving Murray on the waiver wire or holding onto him only as a handcuff.
The rookie quarterback started his first game for the Eagles and proved he could have significant fantasy value as a runner. Hurts’ 18 carries were the most by a quarterback in a game this season. The majority of the runs were by design rather than quarterback scrambles, so it seems like Hurts running will be part of the offense. He looked fine as a passer with 17 completions on 30 attempts for 167 yards and a touchdown. The schedule is much easier for Hurts over the next two weeks, so he should be able to put up even bigger numbers. The rushing floor gives him QB1 potential.
Watkins is a sixth-round rookie who played a little in Weeks 5 and 6 when several Eagles receivers were injured. Watkins surpassed both Travis Fulgham and John Hightower on the depth chart this past week and saw a season-high in snaps. This likely had to do with Hurts’ familiarity with him. Watkins gained 3 yards on his only target. Alshon Jeffery is unlikely to return to the Eagles next season, and they won’t have the cap space to upgrade at wide receiver. Watkins could work his way into the three-wide-receiver sets in 2021.
|Atlanta Falcons||Los Angeles Chargers|
|Calvin Ridley – 48 snaps||Jalen Guyton – 61 snaps|
|Russell Gage – 41 snaps||Keenan Allen – 57 snaps|
|Brandon Powell – 28 snaps||Tyron Johnson – 54 snaps|
|Christian Blake – 13 snaps||K.J. Hill – 16 snaps|
|Laquon Treadwell – 8 snaps||Mike Williams – 2 snaps|
|Luke Stocker – 33 snaps||Hunter Henry – 66 snaps|
|Hayden Hurst – 33 snaps||Donald Parham – 14 snaps|
|Jaeden Graham – 11 snaps||Stephen Anderson – 3 snaps|
|Ito Smith – 25 snaps||Austin Ekeler – 44 snaps|
|Todd Gurley II – 19 snaps||Kalen Ballage – 23 snaps|
|Brian Hill – 9 snaps||Justin Jackson – 11 snaps|
|Total – 57 snaps||Total – 73 snaps|
The Falcons didn’t have Julio Jones, so Ridley needed to be the Falcons top receiver for the game. Ridley put together his second-consecutive 100-yard game with 124 yards on eight catches and a touchdown. The touchdown came on a pass from Russell Gage, who also stepped up as a receiver. Gage gained 82 receiving yards on five catches. No other Falcons player had more than 12 receiving yards.
Smith’s role has grown in the Falcons offense in recent weeks, while Todd Gurley II’s role has declined. Smith handled 11 carries, his most this year in a game in which Gurley was active. Gurley saw a season-low six carries and gained 19 yards. Brian Hill remained a part of the offense as the third-down back. Smith is the only one of the three under contract for next year, so he should continue to see the majority of the work.
Williams left the game after two snaps with a back injury and didn’t return. Second-year wide receiver Tyron Johnson took over and saw his most significant playing time of the season. He ended up leading the Chargers wide receivers in receiving yards at 55. He caught six of seven passes thrown his way and also scored a touchdown. Johnson has graded well in limited action this season and should be a dynasty target.
|Washington Football Team||San Francisco 49ers|
|Cam Sims – 59 snaps||Brandon Aiyuk – 74 snaps|
|Terry McLaurin – 58 snaps||Kendrick Bourne – 72 snaps|
|Steven Sims – 23 snaps||Richie James Jr. – 26 snaps|
|Isaiah Wright – 17 snaps||River Cracraft – 14 snaps|
|Robert Foster – 5 snaps||Deebo Samuel – 1 snap|
|Logan Thomas – 62 snaps||Ross Dwelley – 36 snaps|
|Jeremy Sprinkle – 15 snaps||Jordan Reed – 33 snaps|
|Marcus Baugh – 4 snaps||Charlie Woerner – 24 snaps|
|J.D. McKissic – 41 snaps||Raheem Mostert – 40 snaps|
|Peyton Barber – 30 snaps||Jeff Wilson Jr. – 39 snaps|
|Tevin Coleman – 2 snaps|
|Total – 63 snaps||Total – 81 snaps|
Aiyuk was the main source of offense for the 49ers. His 16 targets were the most for a player this week as of the start of Sunday Night Football. He brought down 10 catches on those targets for 119 yards. His production was especially impressive considering how good Washington had been at stopping wide receivers this season.
A big reason for his high target total was Deebo Samuel exiting the game after one snap due to a hamstring injury. This meant Kenrick Bourne went from just playing in three-wide-receiver sets to playing in all formations, while Richie James Jr. took over in three-wide-receiver sets. They finished second and third in receiving yards for the 49ers with 42 and 33 yards, respectively. Bourne could be a decent wide receiver waiver wire target if the Samuel injury is significant.
Smith left the game near the end of the first half with a strained calf and didn’t return. The veteran wasn’t very productive, with only eight completions on 19 attempts for 57 yards and an interception. Dwayne Haskins came in and didn’t fare any better. He was 7-for-12 for 51 yards. This meant none of the Washington receivers met expectations for the game. Haskins should be left on the waiver wire if Smith misses time, and it likely won’t have a major impact on any of the Washington skill players.
Antonio Gibson was held out of this game with a toe injury, leading to a two-back rotation between McKissic and Peyton Barber. McKissic was significantly more effective on the ground than Barber, with 68 yards on 11 carries. Barber gained 37 on 12 attempts. McKissic’s rushing attempts and yards were both season highs for him. He wasn’t involved in the pass game as much as usual with two catches for 18 yards. It was his fewest receiving yards in a game since October. The schedule looks better for Washington going forward, so McKissic should reach the RB2 range if Gibson misses more time.
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Buffalo Bills|
|JuJu Smith-Schuster – 57 snaps||Stefon Diggs – 70 snaps|
|James Washington – 46 snaps||Gabriel Davis – 62 snaps|
|Chase Claypool – 38 snaps||Cole Beasley – 61 snaps|
|Diontae Johnson – 28 snaps||Isaiah McKenzie – 10 snaps|
|Ray-Ray McCloud III – 4 snaps||Jake Kumerow – 4 snaps|
|Eric Ebron – 38 snaps||Dawson Knox – 60 snaps|
|Vance McDonald – 19 snaps||Lee Smith – 29 snaps|
|Reggie Gilliam – 4 snaps|
|Jaylen Samuels – 27 snaps||Zack Moss – 44 snaps|
|James Conner – 23 snaps||Devin Singletary – 30 snaps|
|Benny Snell Jr. – 5 snaps|
|Total – 57 snaps||Total – 75 snaps|
Diggs was the star of the Bills' offense, just as he’s been for most of the season. He caught 10 of the 14 passes thrown his way for 130 yards and a touchdown. The rest of the Bills' offense gained 108 receiving yards on 14 catches.
Diggs is the first player of the season to hit 100 receptions. And while he is in a heated battle for the league lead in receiving yards for a wide receiver, it will be difficult for the Bills pass-catcher to take home that particular honor, given his remaining schedule.
Johnson came into the week as the league leader in dropped passes, with 10 on the year and five of them in the last two games. Johnson then proceeded to drop two passes within the first five minutes of this Sunday night game.
The second-year wideout was promptly benched and missed the following 30 minutes of the game, and he ended the day with four catches for 40 yards. While that wasn’t the worst receiving performance of the day, he could have seen many more catches and targets tonight.
This game also wasn’t a good sign for Claypool. Claypool surpassed James Washington on the depth chart in Week 6 and consistently received more playing time than Washington in each game until Week 13. The two shared the workload with Johnson on the bench tonight, but when the second half came around, Washington played 17 snaps to Claypool's four. Both Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster played all 21 second-half snaps.
It would be okay to cut Claypool with so little of the season left. He certainly can’t be trusted to start next week, and if he does have a good week, they face a tough Colts defense in Week 16.
Conner missed the last two games while on the Covid-19 list, and the Steelers failed to find much success in the run game in those games. That carried on this week with Conner back.
The Steelers' starter gained 18 yards on 10 carries, his lowest rushing total in a game since Week 1. Conner started the game with his usual early-down role, playing 84.6% of early-down snaps in the first quarter. He played 24.2% of early-down snaps in the following three quarters and, unusually, split the third-down work with Jaylen Samuels all night.
The Steelers have a favorable matchup against the Bengals next week, but we could see a number of running backs try to take advantage of them, rather than just Conner.